Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about the topic MARRIAGE #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about  the topic MARRIAGE

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


Three days ago, I’d hoped he’d propose; only now, I didn’t want it. Our marriage would have been one big, huge, horrendous mistake.

Vicki Batman


“No, I don’t think you murdered your… Tim.” He couldn’t bring himself to say husband; it rubbed him the wrong way every time he thought about her married to another man. “But the authorities are going to look into your relationship, and when they do…”

Jacquie Biggar


“Did you think that marriage would last? I didn’t think it would last a year.”

Joanne Guidoccio


“She started crying, begged forgiveness. Said she only wanted to spice up our marriage. So you see I’m partly to blame for all this if she felt it needed to be spiced up.” Blake hung his head in his hands.

Marian Lanouette


Marriage was only a formality at this point. Despite her insistent begging, Kip wanted to wait until he could propose to her properly.

Stubborn man.

S.A. Taylor
A Twisted Fate (work in progress)


“I don’t k now how we can make a go of our marriage with half a country between us.”

Marsha West


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Writing Romantic Suspense

Writing romantic suspense involves the skillful juggling of romantic elements and nail-biting suspense. A daunting task but so rewarding when all the essential ingredients come together in a well-crafted, character-driven novel.

Here are eight tips:

  1. Ask yourself: what is intriguing about the premise? What will attract readers to the book? In Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Series, protagonist Kinsey Millhone is a twice-divorced private investigator who is permanently stuck in the 1980s. In the Gilda Greco Mystery Series, the protagonist is a teacher turned lottery winner who moves back to her hometown and then finds herself embroiled in murder investigations.

2. Grab the reader’s attention with a hook. Bestselling author Louise Penny offers the following advice: “If you’re writing your first work of crime fiction, place the body near the beginning of the book–preferably on the first page, perhaps the first sentence. In later books, this won’t be necessary, but agents and editors like it established early, so readers know what they’re getting.” In Book 2, Too Many Women in the Room, I used a three-page prologue to introduce the crime. In Book 3, A Different Kind of Reunion, a reference to the murder is made in the first paragraph.

3. Create believable characters. It is tempting to endow protagonists with beauty, intelligence, and other positive traits and then pit them against unattractive villains. Too many or too few strengths are unrealistic. To avoid contrived tension and conflict, evenly balance the characters and have them show vulnerability. The reader must care about the characters, even the secondary characters. When a character dies, it should matter.

4. Get into the heads of your killers. When you have insight into their motivations and behaviors, even if they are twisted, they will seem more real to readers. You don’t have to be in their POV; you can understand them by their actions and dialogue. If you choose to be in the killer’s POV, be very careful you don’t reveal his/her identity.

5. Escalate the tension. After starting with a bang, build tension, offer a few resting moments, and then throw in complications. Have strategies in place to help with the murky middle, that nebulous place around page 80, where it becomes difficult to continue or sustain the tension. You may have to set the manuscript aside and take a breather, work on a shorter piece, or reread craft books. Return to the manuscript with fresh eyes and a firm resolve to successfully navigate the murky middle.

6. Drop enough clues to keep the reader engaged but be careful not to overwhelm the reader. Used effectively, red herrings will maintain reader interest until the end. Many of the plots in Agatha Christie’s novels contain red herrings. In And Then There Were None, we assume a character who goes missing is the killer. Later, when his body is washed up on shore, we realize that his absence was a red herring that misled the other characters and the readers.

7. Come up with a tantalizing title. If you’re writing a series, consider using the same basic pattern for titles. Janet Evanovich uses numbers: One for the Money, Two for the Dough, Three to Get Deadly…I have used longer titles–A Season for Killing Blondes, Too Many Women in the Room, A Different Kind of Reunion–for the Gilda Greco Mystery Series. Regardless of the method used, one fact is clear: The right title (and cover) will catch the reader’s eye in an overcrowded market.

8. End on the right note. Romance readers expect an HEA (Happily ever after) or HFN (Happily for now) ending. Mystery readers (in particular cozy mystery readers) want to experience closure: the sleuth solves the case, justice is served, and all loose ends are tied. But only for a short time…Another murder to solve is just around the corner.

Any other tips to share?

About the Gilda Greco Mystery Series

A cross between Miss Marple, Jessica Fletcher, and Cher (Moonstruck), protagonist Gilda Greco brings a unique perspective to the amateur female sleuth.

The teacher-turned-lottery winner returns to her hometown, only to find herself embroiled in a series of murder investigations. Before you start imaging thrillers with high stakes and police chases, pause and take a yoga breath. The three novels in the series—A Season for Killing Blondes, Too Many Women in the Room,  A Different Kind of Reunion—are cozy mysteries, written in the Agatha Christie tradition. All the crimes take place “off stage” with very few graphic details provided.

While the pace may be more relaxed than that of thrillers and police procedurals, there are no steaming cups of herbal teas, overstuffed chairs, or purring cats in these contemporary cozies. Prepare yourself for interfering relatives who don’t always respect boundaries, adult mean girls, deserving and undeserving men, multiple suspects, and lots of Italian food.

Where to find Joanne Guidoccio

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Goodreads | Pinterest

ONE DARK WISH is on Sale!

Today is a great day for many reasons including the fact that IN SEARCH OF TRUTH, the third book in my Deadly Force series, comes out next Tuesday. The second reason is because ONE DARK WISH, the second book in my Deadly Force series, is on sale for $1.99 or less at the following retailers:

Amazon: http://bit.ly/OneDarkWishAMZ

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/OneDarkWishBN

Books A Million: http://bit.ly/OneDarkWishBAM

iBooks: http://bit.ly/OneDarkWishiBook

Here’s a short blurb:

“Twisty plots, fantastic characters, and pitch-perfect pacing. Fabulous!” —ALLISON BRENNAN, New York Times bestselling author

Her life must be forfeit for his to be redeemed

Historian Sarah Munro is not used to being shot at, but that’s just what happens while she’s poking around cemeteries on Georgia’s Isle of Grace, searching for the key to a centuries-old cipher. Her quest has unwittingly drawn the attention of two deadly enemies intent on destroying each other—and anyone who gets in their way.

Ex–Green Beret Major Nate Walker is on a mission of his own: to restore the honor of his men. To do that, he is required to stop Sarah—or one of his own men will die. Caught in the middle of a deadly rivalry, Nate can’t afford to trust the woman standing in his way. But his heart says he can’t afford not to…

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I loved writing it!

_______________________________________

Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Amazon bestselling Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets meet their match in smart, sexy heroines who teach these alpha males that Grace always defeats Reckoning.

Her bestselling debut book EVERY DEEP DESIRE, a sexy, action-packed retelling of Romeo and Juliet, is about an ex-Green Beret determined to regain his honor, his freedom, and his wife. It’s available at:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBoundKobo|  Google | Books-a-Million | Audible

Her second book, ONE DARK WISH, a passionate redemption of Othello with a HEA, is about an ex-Green Beret who must give up the woman he loves in order to redeem his honor and save the life of his men. It’s available at: Amazon |  Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million | iBooks |  Google | Kobo |IndieBound | Audible

Her third book, IN SEARCH OF TRUTH, is about an ex-Green Beret desperate to win back the woman he loves and save the men he betrayed, even if he must make the greatest sacrifice. It’s available for preorder now and comes out February 25, 2020.

You can preorder IN SEARCH OF TRUTH here: Amazon

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about the topic DATING #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about  the topic DATING

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


She’d grown up with people behaving the way he did, and men who didn’t disappointed her. Scott and she weren’t dating by any means, but she liked his innate politeness.

Marsha West


The words creep, jerk, moron, and “why the hell am I still dating him?” jumbled my thoughts around.

Vicki Batman


He rose and shook her father’s hand and smiled at her mother. “I think what your daughter is saying in a roundabout way is that we’re interested in dating.”

Jacquie Biggar


After a disastrous blind date that one of the teachers pressured me into accepting, I swore I’d have nothing to do with Leo ever again.

Joanne Guidoccio

 


Years ago he’d realized dating her had been a mistake and thought he’d corrected the error.

Marian Lanouette


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about the topic SEX #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about  the topic SEX

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


His financials were nothing outstanding, though he spent his money on some kinky things like porn videos, sex toys, and restraints, to name a few.

Marian Lanouette


“Sweetie, a great love affair is awaiting you—okay, at least great sex.”

Marsha West


“See you later” -—he shot Daniel a challenging look—- “sexy.”

Vicki Batman


Not that she would mind sharing a room with the big bad sheriff, but one with a bed would be preferable. Wait, did she really just think that? Obviously, it’d been too long since she had a meaningful relationship—hashtag sex.

Jacquie Biggar


Benjamin had been far from celibate during his time in New York, but those times paled in comparison to this, to touching the one woman he’d always craved.

Jeannie Hall
Old Friends New Lovers


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about the topic LOVE #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about  the topic LOVE

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


She’d been in love with this man for nearly half her life, yet he’d never known. And now they were here, fighting to get their child back.

Jacquie Biggar


All those years ago when I had fantasized about connecting with Carlo, I had envisioned many wonderful scenarios where we would bump into each other and fall in love—on the beach, dance floor, even at a bar.

Joanne Guidoccio


Though her hair had been washed in Ciara’s shampoo, her neck drenched in Ciara’s perfume, this imposter was not his beloved Ciara.

Marian Lanouette


Probably shouldn’t kiss her, but he’d love—no, not love, lust. He lusted after her. He wrenched his attention away from her and focused on the letters.

Marsha West


“This boy’s all grown up, Kelly, and this man—-me—-loves you” –his palm smacked his chest– “deeply. Forever. For always.”

Vicki Batman


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crisis of Conscience

The idea for this post came to me while I was speeding along 820 W, the loop that circles Fort Worth. I travel on this road daily and frequently more often. For most of this road the speed is 65 mph. (Does Canada have the same speed limit measures?) Usually, I set my cruise control about 67 or 68. That’s because most of the folks are driving 70-75. Seriously. And I know cars have flown by me going 80.

speedometer (I slowed down to take this picture!)

So, Saturday I didn’t have on the cruise control and looked down to see I was flying along at 75 myself, just keeping up with the traffic, you know. After slowing down to closer to the limit, I set the cruise control.

By nature, I’m a rule follower. If the speed limit is 65 mph, that’s what I should be driving. At least very close to it. 😊 I realize there are folks in the world who are by nature not rule followers. Sometimes they are inventors and the creatives, and we’re grateful for their contributions to the world. But the world runs better IMHO if people follow the rules and the laws. Bad things can happen if these are ignored. Rules(Free from ClipArtBest.com)

Many years ago, on my older daughter’s 6th birthday (She’s in her 40s now.) my husband was in a wreck, totaling his car. A woman flew through a red light. I mean flew through it. Two cars had gone on the green before my husband entered the intersection. Now I don’t know what was going on in her life that made her think it would be okay to do that, but that was a bad decision. Fortunately, my husband wasn’t injured, but his mostly new car was totaled, and it was years before we could afford to get him another new car.

There are all sorts of examples of people skirting rules giving no thought to the affect of their actions on others. Do people just not have a conscience that doing bad doesn’t bother them? Are folks cowards to not stand up for the right? Years ago, in some class or other, I heard this exclamation of what our conscience is like. Imagine a ball. Inside the ball is a cube.

Cube Free from ClipArtBest.com

When you do something you know is wrong, the cube tumbles and scratches against the ball, making you feel uncomfortable. So, conscience is that little scritchy-scratchy feeling when you do something you know is wrong. The one I get when I glance down and see I’m exceeding the speed limit.

What happens if you keep doing wrong? I think the points of the cube get warn down, so you don’t feel discomfort anymore.

A crisis of conscience occurs when we know what’s right to say or do, but the consequence of doing so might not be the best for us. That can be something as simple as accidentally getting out of the store without paying for an item. Do you go back in, making you late for your next appointment? Or do you just forget about it?

Or what if you know your boss is cutting corners and not following the guidelines for a building? You need the job, but the building could fall if you don’t say something.

What if the person doing the bad thing is someone you’ve always liked and gotten along with, but you find out they are stealing from your company? Does that make a difference?

We went to the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo Monday night where I have a small crisis of conscience which causes me to root for the animals. 😊IMG_3029 (Chuck wagon races last year.) 

IMG_3312 (From 1984, the first time I ran for the School Board. I lost this election. It was for the best. Kids were too young, and I learned a ton in the next four years when I ran again and won.)

I had a major crisis of conscience came when I was on the school board in the early 90s. We had seven single member districts with the President and Vice President elected at large. There was a push to make our board more diverse. We had two members who were black, but no Hispanics in a district with a growing Hispanic population. The idea was to make the Vice President position another single member district, making it easier for a minority to win it. The white Vice President was a very good friend of mine. We’d gone on the board at the same time. She was a strong advocate for our minority population. I was so torn by how to vote. Vote to make the change which would allow another minority and a Hispanic on the board? Or vote against my friend? It was agonizing trying to make that decision. Ultimately, I voted for the change, but I lost a good relationship, which only in recent years has been repaired. Still I believe it was the right vote.

In TRUTH BE TOLD, the heroine’s father has a crisis of conscience, and chooses to pay a blackmailer causing all sorts of problems for his family. Truth Be Told 300dpi

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2gTtfDs
Amazon Print: http://amzn.to/2hs7UTk
KOBO https://bit.ly/2hAEccW
B & N  https://bit.ly/2wUzrRq
iTunes https://apple.co/2Xtp7wU

Have you had a crisis of conscience over anything? Do you have another explanation for how our conscience works? Love to hear from you.

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Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about the topic MYSTERY #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about  the topic MYSTERY

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


He lifted and dropped his hands. “I’m telling you, to this day, I haven’t a clue how the frog got in your lunch box.”

Vicki Batman


“Single shot to the temple, through and through. Near as I can tell, time of death was sometime between midnight and three a.m., no sign of defensive wounds.” She stopped and gazed at him with world-weary eyes. “Who would do this, Augustus?”

Jacquie Biggar


If seeing her name on a book was all that mattered to her, she could’ve easily published her mystery with their company ages ago.

Marian Lanouette


Given J.D.’s reaction, the gal meant something. That’s the angle he needed to take with the questioning, but first he needed to find out more about this mystery woman.

S.A.Taylor
Shutter (work in progress)


How she could be this hot, when the place she’d inhabited on her walk had been cold and dark as a cave in the arctic was a mystery.

Marsha West


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about the topic TRUST #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about  the topic TRUST

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


“We’ll get through this, Kelly. Trust me. I’ll keep you safe.”

Marsha West


“You’ll be perfect. Trust me.”

Trust me. The two reassuring words everyone uttered when all had big doubts.

Vicki Batman


“Trust me, that woman did not pine away because I wouldn’t relocate to Tennessee.”

Joanne Guidoccio


He’d created her trust issues—the psychologist in her knew the cause of her fear of commitment, but the woman couldn’t forgive or move past it.

Marian Lanouette

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines all about the topic ENCOURAGE #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines all about  the topic ENCOURAGE

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


His brother, the captain at the time, who’d encouraged the excessive force, had been fired and lost his pension. Sergeant Ralph Miller had been gunning for Jake ever since.

Marian Lanouette


She could either deny Josh was a hunk, thus lying to her mother, or agree and encourage the war machine bent on getting them together.

Marsha West